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House of Fraser says rescue plans are on track

Department store chain House of Fraser has reiterated its intention to put forward proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement this month following what it described as inaccurate and unhelpful media speculation.

DEPARTMENT STORES

House of Fraser says rescue plans are on track

Department store chain House of Fraser has reiterated its intention to put forward proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement this month following what it described as inaccurate and unhelpful media speculation.

The CVA is a condition of a transaction which will see international retailer C.banner acquire 51% of House of Fraser from current parent company, Cenbest.

In a statement, House of Fraser said: “This is entirely consistent with the statement made on 2 May. It also continues to be the case that this transaction will see the injection of significant fresh liquidity into the business. House of Fraser is in close dialogue with its lending banks who are supportive of the company’s plans and the transaction with C.banner is progressing as expected.”

Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, added: “We are on track with our plans to enter the proposed CVA agreement. The funding news from C.banner is another important milestone in this complex process. We continue to have very constructive talks with our banks and other stakeholders who are positive about the plans.”

On 1 June, C.Banner confirmed in an announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange that it had successfully entered into subscription agreements for new shares in C.Banner of HK$1.3 billion. In addition, House of Fraser said the majority shareholder in C.banner has approved all elements of the proposed transaction for the purchase of the 51% shares of House of Fraser Group as per the original announcement.

Alex Williamson, House of Fraser chief executive, said: “If we are to deliver a sustainable, long-term business supported by new liquidity then we need to make difficult decisions about our underperforming legacy stores. I am conscious that inaccurate speculation only feeds the ongoing uncertainty for my colleagues in the business and I reassure them we will share further news when we have it.”

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